Phone interviews are typically conducted early in the interview process. Preparing and being mindful of how you communicate can lead to a more effective phone-based job interview. Considering that the first five minutes are crucial to success in a phone interview, don’t leave anything to chance.
Prior to the call, research the company as you would with any other interview and write out potential interview questions and answers. Being able to use notes is an important benefit of phone interviewing; however, you don’t want to sound like you’re reading a script. Practice your responses to potential interview questions in advance.
If at all possible, use a landline for better sound quality and reliability. Find a quiet spot, preferably in an office with the door closed, so you can maintain focus and be fully engaged. Don’t be tempted to text, check emails, or do other work during the call.
It’s important to make a friendly first impression. Although the interviewer won’t see your smile, he or she can sense it over the phone. Initially, thank the interviewer for the opportunity and add a comment or two to project a comfortable mood. Sound interested in the interviewer and the company.
If you are unsure of a question, ask for clarification. If you don’t know an answer, it’s best to simply say so rather than rambling and trying to come up with something. This is a common mistake people make, and it typically ends in disaster.
In the absence of body language or gestures, your tone of voice matters more than ever. Sound upbeat, and let your personality shine through without sounding too casual.